Money Questions and Answers
By Steve Gillman
I get money questions from subscribers to the Money Matter
newsletter, as well as from those who get my Unusual Ways (To
Make and Save Money) newsletter. Here are three recent ones,
along with my answers.
Q: I just bought your course (You Can Make Money
Writing, which is no longer available). You and other marketers
talk about creating ebooks and then creating websites for them;
sometimes that adds up to 20 or 30 websites. To me, that sounds
expensive. Although domains are fairly cheap, hosting fees, on
a monthly basis really add up if you have many websites. Is there
any way to get around this?
A: If you have a decent sales you might do well with
only a couple ebooks and websites (we could pay all our bills
with some of our sites by themselves). You can also start one
and use the profits from that to pay for the next and so on.
But hosting isn't that expensive. At Hostgator,
for example, they have a plan for about $8 monthly that allows
unlimited websites. If you go to hostgator.com you'll see a link
that says: View Web Hosting Plans . That will get you to a page
that shows several plans. You are limited in bandwidth, but we
could put a dozen of our sites on a server like that, meaning
it would be less than a dollar per month each. We currently use
a plan with them that costs $25 per month and we have about 25
active sites on that. In any case, if you pay by the year you
can get the cost down to $5 per month and then upgrade once you
start making some money off the first site.
The other way around the problem - if you are really short
on cash - is to start with a free blog at blogger.com. No cost
except a bit of time figuring it out (the technical stuff is
my weak point so my wife does most of that). Then you could create
an ebook, list it for sale at Lulu.com (it cost nothing last
time I looked) and use your blog to promote the ebook. Find a
free PDF converter (there are few online) and you can start your
internet business with no money at all (assuming you have a computer
and internet access already).
We probably spent about $600 on our business before we started
making money, plus $100 for a used computer. But hosting and
almost everything else has gotten cheaper. There really are ways
to start with nothing or speed it up with just a couple hundred
dollars. Good luck.
Q: Is money really that important?
A: Money is more important than people realize but
overvalued at the same time. Although that may sound contradictory,
it isn't. We tend to ignore the power of money for good and bad.
It's all about how we use it or abuse it and how we could use
it. Certainly if we love people and want them to eat, get medical
care, etc, money is important. Even spiritual pursuits often
involve money, since we cannot buy a good book or visit a good
teacher or build a meditation retreat without it. And the ways
in which we spend it powerfully impacts lives around the world
for better or worse. It is important in this life if this life
But at the same time most people put too much value on money
for it's own sake. It's easy to get caught up in chasing after
it while forgetting that the value is in what it can be traded
for. We wish we had time to pursue this or that worthy goal for
example (time with children, writing a book, traveling, attending
a retreat, starting a school), and money would buy the time for
those things if it was used that way, but instead we fall into
debt and then spend more time going after more money (and how
valuable can it be if we don't know how to use it wisely in any
case?). Then money becomes not only without much value or true
usefulness, but it actually helps lead us away from what is valuable.
Money is a very important tool in life, but like any tool
it is not valuable because we can look at it, own it or show
it off. And it is not useful if we try to use it for the wrong
purposes, any more than a hammer is valuable for cutting wood.
The value is in what we create using it.
Q: I'm a natural procrastinator, and I've had a great
business opportunity for the past month, but each day I say I'm
going to do something about it, then put it off another day.
That seems to make it more and more difficult to get started.
A: Motivation is one of those mysteries of human nature,
and what works for one doesn't for another. But procrastination
unfortunately trains you to procrastinate more (you basically
convince your brain/mind that action doesn't have to follow intention),
so I would either quit the goal completely for now or do one
of the following things that have worked for me and others:
1. Be sure that you want to do it and have good reasons, then
focus on those reasons.
2. Find anything else that excites you (a plan, a vacation,
a political opinion - anything) and talk about it to someone,
and then go back to the task at hand (this is a way to create
energy and then transfer it to what you want to do).
3. Finally, what seems to work best is momentum. The second
you finish this email do something towards your goal, however
small. Later take one more small step, and do the same tomorrow.
If it is a small enough step you shouldn't have any trouble overcoming
your inertia, and yet it will create a bit of momentum. At some
point the movement itself creates motivation.